City Desk

Upcoming summit explores clean future for MT energy


Big Sky Connection

Helena, MT – The Energy Future Summit, coming up next month (Oct. 1), will explore renewable energy in Montana. The summit's topics have gained added urgency as the effects of climate change are being seen across the West, and the nation. Comments from Joan Kresich (KRESS-sitch), board member, Northern Plains Resource Council.

Click on the image for the audio.  Solar jobs could be an avenue for Montana workers in coal-dependent sectors. (anatoliy_gleb/Adobe Stock)


Eric Tegethoff

September 15, 2021

HELENA, Mont. - An event coming up soon looks at the prospects for clean energy in Montana.

The Energy Future Summit will be held virtually Oct. 1, hosted by the Northern Plains Resource Council. Topics for sessions at the one-day summit will include a just transition to renewable energy and the role of power companies in that transition.

Northern Plains board member Joan Kresic said she hopes the summit can demystify the process of how energy is produced, and how it gets to the average home or business to turn the lights on - a process that can be hidden.

"How we create energy, how it gets to us, whether it's good for our environment or whether it creates further harm, especially climate chaos, really matters," she said.

She said the subject of a just transition is important for Montana as supporters of clean energy tackle how to ensure fossil-fuel and coal-dependent workers will get good-paying jobs in the future.

The summit will start at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, is open to the public and costs $20.

Kresich said the realities of climate change have been apparent across Montana this summer, and a recent report from the United Nations paints a grim picture of the future if the world doesn't take substantial action on climate change. However, Kresich said she's reminded of a quote from environmentalist Paul Hawken, who said, "Belief doesn't change action, but action can change belief."

"For instance, here in Livingston, the air has not been safe to breathe, day after day after day. That's really hard to bear," she said. "But what he's getting at is that, when we take action, we can create hope because we know action is possible."

Speakers and panelists at the summit will nclude Emily Rhodes from the Just Transition Fund, Mark Haggerty at the Center for American Progress and a keynote address by John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.



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